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Subscriptions rise cut as Council responds to fall in UK inflation

The ICE Council this week agreed that membership subscriptions for 2013 will be increased by 2.2% rather than the preliminary 2.5% figure recommended at the last Council meeting in April.

Vice president, finance Andrew McNaughton told Council that the revised increase reflected the recent declining trend in official national inflation figures as reported by Treasury, Bank of England and other independent forecasters.

In a paper presented to Council, McNaughton explained that, based on May’s inflation forecast by Treasury, the ICE’s Executive Board had proposed a figure of 2.2% at its 16 June meeting.

It added that since there had been “immaterial change” in the figure over the last month it remained a “reasonable” increase for Council to approve.

In response to concerns raised by Council during discussion at the April meeting over the membership’s likely negative reaction to any subscription increases during a recession, the paper said that the ICE should make members aware that, had a below inflation increase been applied on 2013, the consequences “would have added to the financial pressures on the Institution which may restrict member services” in future.

The paper also underlined the need for the ICE to make members aware how subscriptions funds are spent, by activity area, and “to reiterate…that 8 Storeys Gate [office refurbishment project] is not funded from subscriptions”.

The 2.2% increase will be reflected in subscription charges for 2013, which are due in January as set out in renewal notices that will be sent to members in October this year.

Other issues discussed /agreed by Council this week included:

  • support for a change to the by-laws to allow members to nominate more than one candidate in elections for Council. This would mean that members would be ­allowed to nominate either two general candidates, one general plus one regional, or one general plus one international candidate. In the graduate member category, graduates would be able to nominate up to two candidates. The change will now go forward into the 2013 membership ballot.
  • The development of ICE ­trustee skills was discussed “to ensure that the collective and individual skills of the Council and Council members are appropriate to enable the ICE’s trustee body to carry out its role effectively”
  • A campaign of activity by the ICE to “embed ethics into ­practice” was discussed. Council was told that following similar campaigns to embed health and safety, sustainability and more ­recently, critical design into practice, the Ethics Committee was ­developing plans for a similar ­professional awareness campaign.
  • ICE Council was also this week given a confidential update by chief operating officer Andrew Ruffles on the progress of work to complete the 8 Storey’s Gate office refurbishment. The aim remains to move staff into the new building before the end of 2012.

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